Five policemen were injured in an attack by some local people during a drive at Kumarkhali in Sadar upazila of Pirojpur district early Monday.
The victims were identified as Sub-inspector of Sadar Police Station, Soikat Hossain Sunny, SI Mahmudul Hasan, SI Mohammad Khairul Hossain, ASI Saiful Islam and Constable Maruf Hawladar.
The incident took place at the Shikdar Bari in the area.
Hayatul Islam Khan, superintendent of Pirojpur Police, said a team of police conducted a drive in Kumarkhali area for arresting an accused Hasan Shikdar of a criminal case in the dead of night.
When police was heading towards Sadar Police Station with the accused Hasan, the relatives of the accused and local people attacked on police in a bid to snatch away the accused from police custody.
Seven people including three sub-inspectors, one assistant sub-inspector and a constable were injured during the attack.
Police arrested seven people in connection with the attack on police. Hasan Shikdar, son of Anwar Shikdar, Shaon Das, son of Mithu Das were among the arrestees.
The injured were taken to local hospital where three were given first aid.
Nurul Islam Badal, officer-in-charge of Sadar Police station, said police will file a case in this connection.
The second lecture of “Bangabandhu Lecture Series” will be held on Wednesday virtually as part of celebrating the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Nobel Laureate Prof Amartya Sen will be the keynote speaker on the Bangabandhu birth centenary talk titled “Bangabandhu and Visions of Bangladesh”, while Prof Rehman Sobhan will be a discussant.
This event is being jointly collaborated by London School of Economics (LSE) and Bangladesh High Commission in London, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday.
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The interested individuals may register at: https://tinyurl.com/yyxpj32z. Upon registration, a confirmation email will be sent to the participants and subsequently they will receive the link for joining in the live program prior to the event.
The event will also be live streamed on the Facebook page of LSE South Asia Centre (@SAsiaLSE) at 9PM BdST. In order to join the program through Facebook, individuals may search ‘LSE South Asia Centre’ and click “Interested” in their displayed event “Bangabandhu and Visions of Bangladesh”.
The Bangladesh Travel Agency (Registration and Regulation) (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was passed in Parliament on Monday keeping a provision of maximum six months’ imprisonment or Tk 5 lakh fine or both in the case of violation of any provision under the proposed law.
State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism M Mahbub Ali moved the Bill and it was passed by voice vote.
The bill has a provision saying that a travel agency can renew its licence within six months even after the expiry of the stipulated time on payment of a penalty, can open branch offices at home and abroad, and hand over its ownership.
It says if any travel agency works as a recruiting agency, it will be an offence and the travel agency will be fined for doing so.
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If any travel agency wants to deal with visa or recruitment, it will have to take separate licence for doing those things.
The draft bill included the provisions of ownership transfer and establishment of branches outside the country considering the global perspective of the business.
The first consignment containing five million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine purchased by Bangladesh from licensed manufacturers Serum Institute of India under the brand name Covishield has arrived safely in Dhaka.
A flight of Air India carrying the vaccine consignment landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 11:05 am, said additional SP of Airport Armed Police Alamgir Hossain.
Nazmul Hassan Papon, the Managing Director of Beximco Pharma, said “As per the deal, 50 lakh doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine will arrive each month for six months. We have three warehouses with a capacity of preserving one crore doses.”
Papon came up with the information while talking to reporters at the Airport.
“Bangladesh is getting the vaccine after India while the other countries will get the vaccine in May-June. At first the government has said to provide the vaccine to 8-10 districts in Bangladesh but now we have to provide the vaccine in 64 districts of the country which is a big challenge,” said Papon.
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Replying to a question, Papon said “Now we are receiving the vaccine from Serum Institute of India and the vaccines from two to three more companies including U.S. pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson will come out in the next 2/3 months. The government will decide about the production.”
Earlier, Nazmul Hassan said “The doses will be taken straight to the warehouse (Beximco Pharma warehouse in Tongi) from the airport. They’ll be sent out to all districts after necessary tests.”
On Sunday, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said “India has already provided us 2 million doses. Five million doses will come as per our contract. The rest (25 million doses) will come in phases.”
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate a pilot vaccination drive on Jan 27 at Kurmitola Hospital. A nurse will receive the first jab there.
The government has a list of everyone who will be vaccinated, he said, adding that permission has been given for antibody tests.
In November of last year, the Government of Bangladesh, Beximco Pharmaceuticals, and Serum Institute of India (SII) entered into a tripartite agreement to buy 30 million doses of Covishield, SII's brand name for the vaccine developed by Oxford University and British-Swedish pharma giants AstraZeneca.
Under the agreement, the Bangladeshi govt will pay SII for the 30 million doses of the vaccine and Beximco Pharma will receive a separate fee for its distribution role. Beximco Pharma is the exclusive distributor of the vaccine in Bangladesh and will be responsible for maintaining the cold chain, import, storage, and delivery of the vaccine.
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The Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine was proven to be safe with no major side-effects reported throughout the human trials. It generates strong antibody and T-cells response for long-term immunity against the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
A pause during the trials to address safety concerns in the second week of September received a lot of publicity, but a review by the Medicines Health Regulatory Authority (MHRA) in the UK reinforced the proof of vaccine safety, allowing the trials to resume after a week.
The Oxford vaccine, as it has rather fondly come to be known, has showcased 62% efficacy in the trials when two full doses were given to participants. However, among a limited number of participants, who erroneously received a lower first dose followed by a full second dose, the efficacy went up to 90%. That dosage regime however will not be followed.
While the efficacy of the Oxford vaccine may seem quite low compared to the extraordinary efficacy of around 95% showcased by Pfizer and Moderna’s cutting-edge mRNA vaccines in the US, the easy storage and transportation benefits of Covishield trumps the mRNA vaccines that must be stored at ultracool temperatures of -20 t0 -70°C. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine can be stored at regular fridge temperatures (2-8 degrees Celsius).
It should also be noted that health regulators had officially announced they would be ready to accept a vaccine with efficacy as low as just 50%. Some seasonal flu vaccines have efficacy as low as 30-40%.
Globally, the Oxford-AstraZeneca/Covishield vaccine is named AZD1222 and is co-invented by the University of Oxford and its spin-out company, Vaccitech.
The vaccine uses a replication-deficient chimpanzee viral vector (i.e. it cannot replicate inside the body) based on a weakened version of a common cold virus (adenovirus) and contains the genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein.
After vaccination, the surface spike protein is produced in the human body without any impact of the actual COVID-19 disease, enabling the immune system to recognise the Spike protein and attack the SARS-CoV-2 virus if it infects the body in future.
In June 2020, SII signed an agreement with AstraZeneca, the Gates Foundation and GAVI to produce 100 crore doses of AZD1222 under the brand name Covishield, mainly for supply to developing countries.
Beximco Pharma and SII signed a "cooperation and distribution agreement" in late August over development of a COVID-19 vaccine, for which Beximco would be the "exclusive supplier" in Bangladesh.
The agreement, which is public due to Beximco Pharma's listing on the London Stock Exchange, stated:
"Under the terms of the planned arrangement, Beximco will make a financial contribution to advance the development of the vaccine which will be adjusted based on the vaccine price. SII will prioritise Bangladesh to be one of the first countries to receive an agreed quantity of doses once the vaccine receives all necessary regulatory approvals. Beximco will be the exclusive supplier of the vaccine in Bangladesh and will facilitate the needs of the Government of Bangladesh by offering the opportunity for it to reserve the desired quantities for priority supply at prices to be agreed between the Government and SII."
Covid-19 situation in Bangladesh
Bangladesh recorded a daily infection rate (also known as positivity rate, it tells us out of the number of tests conducted, how many come back positive for COVID-19) of 3.34% with 473 new cases reported until early Sunday.
Since January 6, the daily positivity rate has consistently been below 6%, and over the last week, it has been below 5%.
According to WHO's guidance to governments from May 2020, a daily positivity rate below 5% for two consecutive weeks is indicative that the epidemic is under control in a jurisdiction.
Bangladesh has reported 531,799 cases so far. And the country’s fatalities rose to 8,023 and death rate to 1.51%, with 20 more Covid-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, since the first fatality was reported on March 18.
A number of celebrities from film industry participated in campaigning for Awami League-nominated mayoral candidate Rezaul Karim Chowdhury for the upcoming Chattogram City Corporation(CCC) election at the Port City on Sunday.
The campaigning bagan at noon from the Chattogram Press Club premise.
Film stars Riaz, Symon Sadik, Mahiya Mahi, Apu Biswas, Mir Sabbir, Aruna Biswas, Bijori Barkatullah, Tareen Ahmed took part in the campaigning representing the 'boat' symbol.
The celebrities said while campaigning for Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, "'boat' is the symbol of Chattogram's development. They believe, the development streak of the Chattogram City Corporation will be pursued as before. People of Chattogram will get a new 'city-father' who will help making the city more beautiful and well-planned. So they sought vote for 'boat'.
Film actor Riaz said that Awami League-nominated candidate is an eligible person. He also said that Rezaul Karim Chowdhury will help Chattogram city to be more enrich. He sought vote for him and wished the 'boat' symbol to be winner.
Rezaul Karim Chowdhury said while campaigning, "The 'boat' is the symbol of freedom, symbol of the liberation war, symbol of Sheikh Hasina. We got freedom by voting the 'boat'. We defeated the Pakistanis with this symbol. Poor people have smiles on their faces because of this symbol." And finally he urged to Chattogram residents to vote for him to give opportunities for the city's development.
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The CCC election is scheduled to be held on January 27. A total of 236 aspirants are contesting the polls, including seven mayoral candidates.
There are 1,938,706 voters in the city corporation area.